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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Perfume Review: Acqua di Parma Colonia

Review by Tom

Debuting in the 30's (or as far back as 1916, depending to whom you listen), this is a classically elegant scent that can be easily worn by men or women, any time of the year. This is my go-to scent when I just want to smell nice, not showy, avant-garde or in-your-face. It splashes on with a burst of citrus, but not the demure lemons of Eau d'Hadrien: this is heady, slightly candied and full of the peel, almost immediately cut by rosemary, making the first of its many appearances. This is not the soapy rosemary that sometimes one finds in scents from that era, it's just the right amount to add what in music would be called "contrapuntive interest". Rosemary shows up again to tame the middle notes of Bulgarian rose and jasmine, without which those flowers could easily become heavy, and shows up in the woods of it's base, where the rose and the citrus barely whisper but the verbena starts to show more.

Colombina once wrote of Daim Blond that it smells "expensive". I can only say that I think Aqua di Parma smells "elegant". It reminds me in a way of a Maserati automobile- meant for a gentleman, but so elegantly finished and with such exquisite detailing that it's almost feminine, and perfectly suited to the woman who wants one.

Aqua di Parma is available at better department stores like Neiman-Marcus, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. It's available in several sizes, ranging from the 1.7 ounce travel spray for $62 to the whopping 6 oz splash for $107. I consider the splash to be a great bargain indeed.


Blogger chayaruchama said...

Buon Giorno, Bello-

Right on, elegant...

Love the use of "contrapuntal'so early in the day-

You succeeded in making this musician tingle...

Tante Bellecose-

7:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have weakness for Acqua di Parma. And silly as it sounds, I especially love their packaging, so strinking and so simple at the same time. A joy to the eye, that yellow. And of course the scents are lovely too, especially Colonia and Iris Nobile. I am looking forward to the eau de parfum version of the latter.
Thank you very much for a great review, as always!

8:20 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This really is a lovely, elegant summer scent. Does *not* get the press it deserves. Thanks for giving it such a great review! And I had no idea the 6 oz. splash was so reasonably priced. When the bank account is in less agony (should be around May, 2034), I must look into that.

9:05 AM EDT  
Blogger priscilla said...

Oh, this sounds lovely. Putting it on the ever-expanding list of things to try. Acqua di Parma could get me in trouble just with the bottles alone...You could decorate a room around one of those bottles. (oh, but then that makes me think of those annoying commercials where the couple plunks down a faucet in front of the great architect and tells him to design a house around it...) I love the clean lines, and that font! I have a real thing for nice fonts. ;-)

10:21 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Grezie tante!

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I am not normally fond of yellow, but the shade they use is so rich- like the yolks of European eggs (the ones I've seen Nigella Lawson crack open), I can't help but be delighted. Who knew paper covered cardboard could seem so luxe

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Elle, I'm almost happy that it doesn't get that much press- I'm afraid they might raise the price!

In the fond hope that your account is in less agony earlier, maight I point out that Neiman-Marcus should have one of their "Beauty Events" next month, where they will send you a hideous tote filled with sample goodies, and ship that 6 oz bottle to you for free, and unlike in the store, they take Visa, Mastercard and Discover?

Just mentioning...

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Greeneyes, it is lovely packaging. I love the font as well! I'd love to have it on stationery.. crisp white paper with that eggy yellow as a border and my initials engraved in that font in black..

Yes, I am a geek for stationery as well!

11:56 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I stumbled across this the other day sniffing the new AdP Iris Nobile in the EDP strength... I'd forgotten what a GREAT scent Colonia is.

7:51 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

It really is great. A total classic I was thrilled when my god-daughter asked for this as a Christmas present. I felt so Auntie Mame (in a totally butch way, natch)

12:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bought some on a flight with BA from LA to London recently...I splashed some on whilst still in flight and felt like I'd been upgraded from Premier Economy to 1st class in an instant. Not everyone likes it and that's why I like it!

6:38 AM EDT  

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